Category: Craftiness

General craft ideas, including sewing projects, kid-friendly ideas and VBS inspiration.

Bitter Knitter and Crochet Quitter

Bitter Knitter and Crochet Quitter

A couple of years ago some ladies from my mom’s group decided to get together and learn how to knit. We had a few talented knitters in the group and several of us were very envious and willing to give this new hobby a go.

I generally think I’m pretty talented when it comes to crafting and I love to try new things, so making something useful out of a ball of string seemed like a good idea. . .  So I bought a ball of yarn, a pair of basic knitting needles and showed up ready and willing to learn this new art while visions of warm sweaters, cozy blankets and those awesome little dish clothes (I love those things) danced in my head. But that’s right about where this good idea went all wonky.

My friends got me started, but the more I knitted one and pearled two the tighter everything got until I was working with the very tips of my needles and squinting to see my stitches. Yikes! It was so frustrating! I started, I stopped and I started again and again. It literally made me angry to fail at this seemingly straight-forward task that so many people claim to be so therapeutic. Yes, I was becoming a bitter knitter.

After numerous demoralizing attempts, I decided to throw in the towel the ball of yarn (I didn’t have a towel to throw in because I didn’t make it that far). Of course my friend who was churning out rows and rows of an adorable baby blanket while simultaneously carrying on three conversations and sipping a glass of wine, labeled me a knitter quitter. That’s okay, I owned it and proudly (or not so much) wore the title of the “Bitter Knitter Quitter.” It has a nice ring to it, don’t ya think?

A couple of girls at this obviously very flawed craft night suggested I try crochet, claiming it to be much easier than knitting. Of course this was knitting night and so I tabled that suggestion until I could regain my crafty self-esteem and good humor, which apparently took almost two years.

As I was spring cleaning my sock drawer last week, I dug out a ball of yarn still attached to a seriously incomplete knitting project and thought, “Why not.” Well let me tell you why not. . . because crochet is as aggravating as knitting but the needle is a lot less pointy so you can’t easily stab out your eyes when you have finally had enough.

I decided to make use of this incredibly informative thing called You Tube and found a crochet tutorial for beginners. It was called How to Crochet for Absolute Beginners: Part 1 (yes, there are more parts, but I didn’t make it that far). The girl giving instruction seemed to know what she was doing and explained everything clearly, but no amount of pausing and replaying would make my fingers to the right thing. 

So here I sit, the proud owner of a ball of yarn, three new bright-colored needles (free to a good home) and a crushed ego. I don’t knit. I won’t crochet. Because you see, I’m a bitter knitter and a crochet quitter!

Bunny Trail Sidewalk Chalk

Bunny Trail Sidewalk Chalk

Oh my goodness, it’s almost Easter and I feel like I’m so far behind. It seems like St. Patrick’s Day was just a couple of weeks ago. . . Oh wait, it was! With Easter’s early arrival and our spring break adventure last week, I’m afraid all the holiday hoopla has simply taken a backseat to life. Not that I’m downplaying the importance of Easter and the resurrection of Christ, but let’s just say that I’ve been a little lax in my outward display of enthusiasm. Anyone else in my shoes this year?

Okay, so enough of my excuses. We all still have time to whip up a few items just in time for Easter, and this adorable little bunny sidewalk chalk definitely fits the bill. I love this craft because it is easy to make, it fits into many plastic eggs and kids love them. Winner, winner, bunny dinner!

Here’s what you need:

  • Silicone Mold (bunnies, chicks or Easter eggs are all good choices)
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Water
  • Tempera Paint
  • Disposable cups and spoons

Here’s what you do:

  1. Mix equal parts Plaster of Paris and water in a disposable cup.
  2. Add paint to the mixture and stir until you get the desired color. Of course, the more paint the deeper the color.
  3. Pour the colored mixture into the molds. Fill it close to the top, but don’t overflow or you will have to trim off the excess (and that definitely would add oodles of unnecessary work to this super easy craft).
  4. Let the mold set on a level surface until dry, which will take several hours. Your Plaster of Paris container probably will give you an estimated time.
  5. Pop out the little chalks and let them continue to dry for at least a day. You will know when they are completely dry when they are no longer cool to the touch (not that you have to wait quite that long).

As a side note, if you plan to package these fun little chalks in a sealed container, you may want to let them dry longer. I plopped mine in mini baggies and they were a bit moist when I handed them out to the kiddos in the Hollow. The kids loved them but the chalks didn’t seem to last as long. Also, make sure you wash your mold immediately or you might have a hard time getting it completely clean.

Okay, I think that’s it. Enjoy your sidewalk chalk and have a happy Easter!

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